Increased Screen Time: a Double-Edged Sword During Virtual Schooling

10 Feb

By Vinnie Liu

Now that school has shifted online, it’s no wonder that screen time has been rising. In addition to class time, kids have been spending a considerable amount of time on their screens. In all that is happening, it’s understandable that people are using the Internet as an escape, but when is it too much? 

While social media can help people stay connected during this taxing time, it has its downsides. Studies have shown that as little as two hours of screen time a day can reduce attention and memory, as well as an increase in anxiety and depression. Procrastination is another problem most people have, and scrolling through a feed for hours on end is certainly a cause.

Senior Sophia Wilson says, “I wake up at 7 AM and immediately go on my phone and check my email. At 7:30, I go to my Tulane class and have online school until 3:30. After school, I work on homework on my computer. My attention span has definitely decreased since March.”

“Five hours of zoom calls per day leaves me completely drained,” junior Jack Eisele said.

Leaning towards the more positive side, “Phones are so much more fun than work so I feel more attracted to being on it than doing schoolwork,” freshman Farren Lamarsh said.

While people can agree that staring at a screen all day can take a toll on one’s mental state, it’s important to remember the upsides in having access to technology. Mr. Gillispie, AP Psychology teacher at Lusher, says, “People's anger has fewer avenues it can be expressed due to quarantine. One could normally complain to friends, colleagues and other students, play sports or do other activities to tire one’s self out.  Now that people are stuck inside, none of these options are actually viable.

“That's where these blue boxes come in handy,” Gillispie continued.  “Being able to get on a call or text friends about anything is something that is helping people get through these hard times.”

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